Gilbert and Sullivan Archive
"The Times", Thursday, January 6, 1910.
Miss Amy Evans now appears as Selene, Queen of the Fairies, the part in Fallen Fairies hitherto taken by Miss Nancy McIntosh. Miss Evans is new to the London musical stage, though she has, we believe, been heard on the concert platform, and she ought to prove a valuable addition to our sopranos. She has a delicate but a beautiful voice. Her high notes, both fortissimo and pianissimo, are of very pure quality. What she wants at present is a little more experience in getting her low notes over the footlights, and to do this she needs rather more careful and sympathetic accompaniment by the orchestra than she received on the first night. As an actress she has a good deal to learn before she avoids flatness and monotony, and will be all the better for more knowledge of the carriage of the arms and head. But it must be admitted that to Selene Sir W. S. Gilbert has given the most verbose and most difficult passages in his opera; and there is already about Miss Evans’s performance a kind of gentle sincerity that fits the part well and should develop into something very charming. Altogether she provides a good contrast to the robuster voices and directer methods of Miss Madie Hope as Darine and the ever-pleasing Miss Jessie Rose as Zayda.
As to the opera, may it be long before so characteristic a Gilbert and so exceptional a German has to be withdrawn! It is admirably performed, and it is worth a visit merely to hear the singing of the female chorus. The composer has shown fine judgement in his treatment of this rather difficult feature of the opera; and as to the solos and duets sung by the ladies and by Mr. Workman, Mr. Claude Fleming, and Mr. Leo Sheffield, the number of encores demanded proves their popularity.